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HomeWorldPro-Iranian forces in Syria warn US of response to air strikes

Pro-Iranian forces in Syria warn US of response to air strikes


Pro-Iranian forces in Syria have said they have a “long arm” to respond to further US airstrikes on their positions, following tit-for-tat missiles and drone strikes in Syria over the past 24 hours.

The online statement, released late Friday and signed by Iran’s Advisory Committee on Syria, said US airstrikes had killed and wounded several of its fighters, without specifying the nationalities of the fighters.

“We have the capability to respond if our centers and forces in Syria are targeted,” the statement said.

On Friday night, two Syrian activist opposition groups reported a new wave of US airstrikes on eastern Syria, hitting positions of Iranian-backed militias, after rockets were fired at bases in Syria hosting US troops. However, several US officials denied that the attacks were launched late on Friday.

US officials said there were two simultaneous attacks on US troops in Syria on Friday. Officials said that, based on preliminary information, a US serviceman was injured in a missile attack on the Conoco plant, but was in stable condition. Around the same time, several drones were launched on Green Village, where US troops are also stationed.

All but one of the drones were shot down and there were no U.S. injuries, said officials who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

US President Joe Biden said on Friday the US would respond “vigorously” to protect its personnel after it attacked Syrian sites used by groups linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards earlier in the day. The US airstrikes were launched after a strike on Thursday by a drone believed to be Iranian-made that killed a US contractor, wounded another and wounded five US troops at their base in northeastern Syria.

“The United States is not seeking conflict with Iran,” Biden said in Ottawa, Canada, where he is on a state visit. But he said the US was ready to “act vigorously to protect our people. That’s exactly what happened last night.”

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the drone that hit the US-led coalition base near the northeastern Syrian city of Hassakeh on Thursday was Iranian in origin, though he provided no evidence.

The US strikes, launched in retaliation, hit targets in three cities in eastern Syria, activists said.

According to a defense official, the US strikes were carried out by F-15 fighter jets that hit three locations, all near Deir ez-Zour, a region in eastern Syria.

The activist group Deir Ezzor 24, which covers news in the province, said the US strikes killed four people and injured several others, including Iraqis.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war watcher based in the United Kingdom, said US strikes killed 11 Iranian-backed fighters — six in a weapons depot in the Harabesh district of the city of Deir ez-Zour and five others at military posts in the near the towns of al-Mayadeen and al-Boukamal.

Rami Abdurrahman, head of the observatory, said three rockets were fired earlier on Friday at the al-Omar oil field in Deir ez-Zour, where US troops are housed, in apparent retaliation for the US airstrikes.

Deir Ezzor 24 and the Observatory had no details on whether Friday night’s new wave of attacks on the city of Deir ez-Zour caused any casualties.

The Associated Press could not immediately independently confirm the activists’ reports. Iran and Syria did not immediately acknowledge the attacks.

Charles Lister, director of the Syria and Countering Terrorism and Extremism programs at the Middle East Institute — a think tank based in Washington, D.C. — tweeted that Iranian-backed groups had launched “virtually coordinated attacks against U.S. positions in eastern Syria” on Friday. who wounded an American soldier.

“The attacks involved Grad missiles and suicide drones. #Iran showing its true colors and American deterrence not yet up to par,” he wrote.

The exchange of missile and drone strikes in Syria between Iran-backed groups and the US comes as Saudi Arabia and Iran have been working to reopen embassies in each other’s countries. Saudi Arabia has also acknowledged efforts to reopen an embassy in Syria, whose embattled president Bashar al-Assad is backed by Iran in his country’s long war.

Dareen Khalifa, a senior Syria analyst with the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, said while the strike exchange comes at a sensitive political time due to the “general deterioration in US-Iran relations and the deadlock in nuclear talks ”, she had not expected a major escalation.

“These tit-for-tat attacks have been going on for a long time,” Khalifa said, though she noted that they usually didn’t result in casualties.

While “the risk of an escalating cycle is present,” she said, “I think the Biden administration is now not eager to escalate in Syria and will instead have a relatively measured response.”


Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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